In Memory

Paul Pearson (German Teacher)

Many of you will be sad to learn that Mr. Paul Pearson (aka Persson) died in Victoria Canada on April 2,

2020, from complications of the COVID-19 virus at the age of 85. He was taken to the hospital as he had fallen at home and once there, it was discovered that he also had COVID-19.  Due to his underlying heart condition, his health quickly declined.  

He taught German at Sunset High during the 1960s.  He taught both German and Music at North Peace Secondary School in Fort St. John, BC, Canada during the 1970s and 1980s before retiring in the early 1990s. He also taught in Germany in the early part of his career. Mr. Pearson was predeceased by his two older sisters and his parents.  He never married.  He is survived by five nieces and two nephews, who all live in the U.S.  He was born in Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Oregon.  He was a master in both German and music, was a Fullbright Scholar and coached hockey at North Peace.  He was also a self-taught pianist, an organist and a history buff.

Apparently Mr. Pearson always drove a convertible, even in cold British Columbia.  He was still driving a Mustang soft-top convertible until two weeks before his death. "He was bombing around town in that thing right until he got sick," said his former colleague, Rick Koechl. After retiring from teaching he purchased a condo in Victoria, bought himself the new Mustang convertible and "lived the life he always talked about when the weather was less than desirable in Fort St. John."

"He touched the lives of many students with his music.  His kindness and sense of humour kept everyone going," said Margaret Little.  He always walked to work and carried dog biscuits in his pocket to feed the neighborhood dogs.  He often entertained small groups of people in his home.  Though he was a lifelong bachelor, Pearson substituted family life with a busy social life.  He played in symphonies and hosted family and friends when they visited Victoria.

It would be wonderful to hear from Sunset students about their experiences with Mr. Paul Pearson.  Please add your comments below.

go to bottom 
  Post Comment

07/06/20 05:43 PM #1    

Ron Oldroyd

I am so sorry to hear about Mr. Pearson's death. I have such fond memories of my association with him in German class and German Club. He inspired me to take more classes in German in college. I am happy he seems to have been active right up to the time of his illness. Rest In Peace. 

07/08/20 12:32 AM #2    

Judy Greene

Mr. Pearson was one of my favorite teachers, not least because he was so unique, funny, demanding (not sure II'm remembering this correctly), personable, and kind of kooky in an interesting way. A memory that stands out: he took a small group of us to "Rigoletto", and I still love opera to this day. We had somehow renewed contact about 8 years ago when I was planning a visit to Victoria with a friend, and he invited us to come for lunch--what a hospitable man! For some reason we couldn't make it, and I regret there were no other trips to Victoria; it would have been so fun to see him. Thankyou to whoever wrote about him, it was great to get an even better view of this interesting human being.

08/17/21 10:12 PM #3    

Brian Backstrand

Paul Pearson brought a combination of humor and intensity into the classroom that connected with his students.   At one time he had a policy that he never gave out a grade of 100 on pop quizes or exams.  Those who passed with a 100 got 99 + 1.   

When he discovered that I was heading into a summer job working for the U.S Forest Service, following my senior year, I learned that he had spent time as a lookout and bought a radio receiver that he had used--a large radio replete with tubes and worked effectively for many years, reminding me of Mr. Pearson.

go to top 
  Post Comment